European Committee of Social Rights: Armenia

2015

(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“In its previous conclusion the Committee held that the situation was not in conformity with the Charter as corporal punishment was not explicitly prohibited in the home.

“The Committee notes from the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children that prohibition is still to be achieved in the home, alternative care settings and schools. There is no defence for the use of corporal punishment enshrined in legislation but there is no explicit prohibition. In theory, the prohibition of cruelty, violence and humiliation in childrearing in Article 53 of the Family Code would prohibit corporal punishment by parents, which invariably violates a child’s dignity, but the law is not interpreted in this way – and the potential for such an interpretation is undermined by the near universal social acceptance and use of corporal punishment in childrearing.

“The Committee notes from the report of the Governmental Committee to the Committee of Ministers (TS-G (2011)1, §377) that in accordance with Section 9 of the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child, each child had a right to protection against any type of violence and any person including the child’s legal representative were forbidden to exercise any violence against the child or any punishment humiliating the child’s dignity. An express prohibition of corporal punishment has been included in the new draft Law on Domestic Violence.

“The Committee notes from the report that for the purpose of ensuring the compliance of the legislation with the Revised European Social Charter, as well as having regard to the priority of protection of interests of a child, a provision has been introduced to the Family Code on excluding beating as a means of child upbringing.

“In this connection, the Committee notes from the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children that in 2015, the Government accepted a recommendation to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings made during the Universal Periodic Review of Armenia and confirmed that prohibition would be included in draft amendments to the Family Code. The Committee asks the next report to provide the information on the provision in the Family Code which explicitly prohibits all forms of corporal punishment of children in the home.

“The Committee notes that during the reference period the situation which it has previously found not to be in conformity with the Charter has not changed. The Committee reiterates its previous finding of non-conformity on the ground that corporal punishment is not prohibited in the home.”

“The Committee concludes that the situation in Armenia is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter on the grounds that: … not all forms of corporal punishment of children are prohibited in the home.”

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2011

(January 2012, Conclusions 2011)

"In its previous conclusion the Committee held that the situation in Armenia was not in conformity with the Charter as corporal punishment of children was not explicitly prohibited in the home. In this connection the Committee takes note of the information contained in the report of the Governmental Committee of the Social Charter to the Committee of Ministers (TS-G (2009) 4, §250) and also of the information provided in the report.

"The Committee notes that in December 2010, the Government undertook to analyse legislation relating to children with a view to harmonising domestic law with international standards. In the same year, the Government accepted the recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment of children made during its Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council. The Committee wishes to be informed of these developments.

"The Committee notes from another source that corporal punishment is lawful in the home. The Family Code (2004) states in Article 53 that the ways of children’s rearing should exclude ignorant, cruel, violent attitude towards them, humiliating human dignity, offence or exploitation...’ Article 9 of the Rights of the Child Act (1996) states that children have a right to protection from all forms of violence and that no person, including parents, must inflict violence on the child or punishment which affects the child’s dignity, and article 22 protects the child’s right to honour and dignity. But these provisions and others in the Criminal Code (2003) and the Constitution (1995) are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment in childrearing.

"The Committee considers that the situation which it has previously considered not to be in conformity with the Charter has not changed. Therefore it reiterates its previous finding of nonconformity on this point.

"The Committee concludes that the situation in Armenia is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter on the grounds that:

- corporal punishment of children is not explicitly prohibited in the home…."

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2007

(2007, Conclusions XVIII-1, vol.1)

"Article 9 of the Children’s Rights Act states that every child has the right to be protected from any form of violence, including physical, mental and other forms and that all persons, including parents and legal representatives are prohibited from subjecting children to violence or degrading treatment or punishment. The Criminal Code prohibits torture (Article 110), abuse of guardian’s rights (Article 126) and humiliation of dignity and honour (Article 132) and provides for severe penalties for offences against minors. Article 68 of the Marriage and Family Code stipulates that parents may forfeit their parental rights for abuse of these rights or cruelty towards their children.

"The Committee notes from another source that whereas corporal punishment is unlawful in schools as well as in penal institutions or as a sentence for a crime, there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment within the family nor within, other institutions or forms of child care. In addition, it observes from a further source that the aforementioned provision of the Children’s Rights Act is not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment in the home. The Committee recalls that Article 17 of the Revised Charter requires a prohibition in legislation against any form of violence against children, whether at school, in other institutions, in their home or elsewhere. It considers that this prohibition must be combined with adequate sanctions in penal or civil law. Therefore, it considers that since there is no prohibition in legislation of corporal punishment within the family or other forms of child care and institutions other than penal institutions, the situation is not in conformity with Article 17 of the Revised Charter. As regards the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and penal institutions, the Committee asks how observance of such prohibition is ensured in practice....

"The Committee concludes that the situation in Armenia is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Revised Charter on the ground that corporal punishment of children within the family and alternative child care is not prohibited."

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